July 5, 2017

Why Choose a First Look

FILED IN: For Brides

Wedding planning comes with a slew of decisions every couple has to make. What color linens would you like? How many guests will you invite? When will you send out invitations? Each decision adds up to create your dream wedding day and deserves attention.

When it comes to your wedding photography, so many more decisions come into play, and we totally understand that it can be overwhelming. Today we wanted to tackle one seemingly small decision that could make a world of difference in your wedding photography experience: a first look!

So what is a first look? Simply put it means the bride and groom make time to see each other before the ceremony. It might not be a traditional decision but, in our professional opinion, for most couples it can be the best decision. For our Katie & Alec couples our first looks typically take place after detail & getting ready photos have been finished. We like to take our couples to a place where they can be alone, and where we can capture the first few moments of them seeing each other. This is such a time of joy, celebration, and emotion and that’s why we love capturing them. Afterwards, we even step away for 3-5 minutes so each couple can share a private moment (which on a wedding day rarely happens for couples).

First looks have several advantages to the tradition of waiting to see each other as the bride walks down the aisle. If we could, we’d love to be sitting down with you over a big bowl of ice-cream pouring out reasons why we love them! But, for now we’ll share a few of our favorite reasons with you.

Why Do A First Look | Birmingham, Alabama Wedding Photographers

Your Groom Will Love It

We’ve asked so many of our past grooms what they thought of their first look and without fail we always hear that they loved it. 8/10 grooms are nervous on the wedding day and can’t wait to see their bride. Allowing time for him to see you at the beginning of the day helps ease those nerves, and allows him to enjoy the wedding day a little more. Another reason guys love them is that it allows them to be emotional in a little more private way. Instead of him seeing you for the first time in front of 300 guests, he gets to have that time with his bride, the person he is most comfortable around. Often times, this gets grooms even more emotional when his bride walks down the aisle because he isn’t nervous about seeing her!

Why Do A First Look | Birmingham, Alabama Wedding Photographers

You’ll Get More Photos (& more time to party)

Scheduling a first look at the front end of your wedding day will allow you to get more photos because you will have more time to take them. We typically have our couple’s for 2 hours of portrait time apart from the ceremony & reception. This means family photos, bridal party, couple’s portraits and the like. With a first look we can carve our plenty of time for those images before your ceremony and reception so you can spend that time enjoying your party. We hate having to pull our couples away for 1.5-2 hours for portraits during their receptions (and typically, so do our couples!).  Having that portrait time before hand means we don’t have to rush, you get more photos, and you & your guests get to enjoy your entire party together! It’s a win, win, win!

Why Do A First Look | Birmingham, Alabama Wedding Photographers

Alone Time

Your wedding day will be such a busy time, packed with activities and things to do. In the midst of all that most couples don’t find time that they can just breathe & be together on such an important day. Making time for a first look allows you to have even a few minutes to focus on what really matters, the fact that you’re getting married!! These few precious minutes are ones you’ll cherish forever! This also helps make the wedding day more fun because you get to spend the rest of it with your future spouse!

Why Do A First Look | Birmingham, Alabama Wedding Photographers

A Smoother Wedding Day

With all the great reasons we’ve already listed for why we love first looks, this one is easily a product of them all. When we have more time for photos, more time for you to party, and we knock out any nerves at the beginning of the day things go much smoother. We’ve seen it again and again that when couples choose a first look they end up being able to easily flow through the day. Even if some of the photos run over, and we’re pinched for time, most couples don’t mind sparing 15 minutes post ceremony to make up for that time. When you skip the photos beforehand and things run over, then you’re left with even less time to enjoy your reception. No one likes that!

Now, like we mentioned earlier, we could talk forever on this topic and never grow weary. First looks help make wedding days smoother, calmer, and they can add a lot of personal value to the day. We understand that they might not be right for everyone, but we hope that if you’re in the process of deciding, that this will help you make an easier decision.

Here’s to smooth, fun wedding days 🙂

Katie & Alec


Brides! We’re here to help you learn tips & tricks for making your wedding day smoother and more tress free. If you liked this blog post, check out our post on Getting Your Best Detail Photos & How to Choose Your Engagement Session Location!

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